Drugs are just one tool in your box of pain relievers. Solely relying on one tool is like trying to build a house with just a hammer. The job does not get done very well, and the results are unsatisfying. Controlling pain with other tools besides drugs is essential to a well-rounded treatment plan. These simple strategies can help you relieve pain without drugs.
- Sleep: Those that are sleep deprived are going to be more sensitive to pain. An additional one to two hours of sleep each night can greatly reduce your pain levels. Going to bed earlier, doing relaxing activities prior to bed, eliminating stimulating, distracting things like televisions and iPads in the bedroom, or drinking Chamomile tea before bedtime – all of these healthy sleep habits can help you get a longer night’s sleep and feel less pain.
- Mental Habits: Wake up expecting that your pain will be successfully managed. This new attitude can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Stop worrying about tomorrow and catastrophizing about today; accepting what you cannot change can greatly relieve your suffering. Reduce stress in your life by learing to say “No,” pacing yourself and asking for assistance when needed. All of these mental habits are great tools to assist you in controlling pain and suffering.
- Distraction: Distraction can be one of the most powerful pain relievers. Focusing your attention on something you enjoy like a movie, a song, a friend, a puzzle, or a book can help to relieve pain. Pain is always worse when you focus on it.
- Meditate: Provoking the relaxation response is a powerful way to control blood pressure, heart rate, and yes, pain. By doing something repetitively that interrupts your normal thought patterns, you too can feel more relaxed and less pain. Just 20 minutes per day is enough to reduce pain levels substantially in some individuals.
- Exercise: Improving your fitness level can greatly reduce your tendency to experience activity-related pain. If your body has not been training to walk to the mailbox, it is going to hurt when you do walk to the mailbox. Building up endurance and strength will give you the activity tolerance you need to live again with less pain.
- Improve your Posture: Your posture during the day and night greatly influences how your spine feels. Try a zero-gravity chair during the day and a good mattress at night. With improved posture your body will experience less stress and pain.
- Explore Alternatives: Many alternatives to drugs exist like hypnosis, acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators (TENS units), and herbal supplements. A couple of well proven nutritional supplements include Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Turmeric. Everyone is unique and only you can find what will work for you.
Now is a great time to add some new tools to your pain relieving box besides drugs. If you have been trying to use just a hammer, you are likely missing a greater degree of relief than you are experiencing now. And even if you do use more than drugs to ease the pain, maybe there is something new that you are missing in your current treatment plan. Explore your options and just keep trying.
Published On: December 29, 2013